contributing new font package for xorg

Glynn Clements glynn at
Sun Aug 14 10:45:16 PDT 2005

Edward G.J. Lee wrote:

> > A PDF font is a set of subroutines called by the PDF document. Its
> > functionally something like
> > 
> > 
> > 	font = new font("Times New Roman", 12);
> > 	font->draw("H");
> > 	font->draw("I");
> > 	
> > 
> > the document doesn't work without the font. Derivate works is a murky
> > area but that doesn't strike me as one. How is it different to using GPL
> > libraries or at an abstract level from pasting a picasso into your
> > picture and claiming its not derivative of picasso's work. Or perhaps
> > putting a small piece by another composer into your work.
>   To embed font into pdf/ps is optional, not necessary.

Nobody is arguing about the case where a document file merely
references a font by name, only the case where the font is embedded.

>   According to PDF spec(v1.6) page 436, font file(program) is an
>   another license, diff from document context and pdf medium itself.
>   PDF will record the necessary copyright/permission information.
>   And those embedded font data(program?) can be seperate from PDF.
>   [Note] ps document with ps font has similar situation.
>   It's not the situation as software lib or picture/image, IMHO.
>   We need more clearly definition of `Derivate work' I think. And we
>   need a suitable license for fonts(bitmap and vector font) too. Maybe
>   the license for (programming)software is not suitable for font?

I don't think the problem is with the definition of a derivate work. A
document which embeds a copy of a font is rightly (IMHO) a derivative
work of the font.

I would agree that the GPL isn't a particularly suitable licence for
fonts, due to its "contagious" nature; i.e. if you want to embed a GPL
font in a document, you would have license the document as a whole
(including the text) under the GPL. You could also release the text
under other licences, but you can't avoid granting the recipient the
rights specified in the GPL.

Glynn Clements <glynn at>

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